Can a Compression Vest for Chest Cause Spinal/back Damage?

I had gynecomastia surgery and have been wearing a compression vest as required post op. However, I've noticed my back and neck start to ache after wearing the vest constantly. I've tried loosening it too, but my back/neck still ache. I was wondering, can such type of vest cause spinal or back damage? The vest is not on extremely tight and I don't have any skin marks from wearing it, but not sure why my back/neck ache? Thanks

Doctor Answers 6

Compression garment

I recommend my patients wear their garments for a minimum of 3 weeks if not a lot of redundant skin following liposuction male breast reduction to a maximum of 6 weeks. To be effective the garment needs to fit snug but not too tight as to cause pressure problems (inspect your skin if discomfort and when skin is exposed), or prevent you from sleeping. As the edema resolves it is common for patients to switch to a smaller garment that fits - A Spanx type garment would work rather than ordering one or paying more at your doctor;'s office.
Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia Reduction) by liposuction requires compression garments for three main reasons:
  1. it restricts the amount of edema that forms and hastens its resolution by mechanical pressure
  2. It decreases the amount of bruising
  3. It assists the loose skin in retracting or shrinking

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Compression vest and back pain

Not to worry. I'm certain that the vests do not cause any spinal compression. Your back might be in a little spasm due to the soreness and surgery on the front of your chest. Take some warm baths, NSAIDs (if not contraindicated) and maybe a back massage. Check with your surgeon first.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Compression vest should not cause spinal injury

The compression vest will not harm your spine and back. Some patients report back pain secondary to hours on an OR table or changes in posture and sleep positions postoperatively.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Compression and back and neck pain

It is unlikely that a compression garment has caused back and neck pain although I suppose it is possible. More than likely it is the way you are lying in bed or performing actiivities after surgery.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Compression Best Causing Damage?

Thank you for the question.

No, the use of the compression vest will not cause spine/back damage. Many patients experience temporary neck back shoulder discomfort from positional issues during and after surgical procedures. For example, simply lying on the back for long periods after surgery may be aggravating. These symptoms generally resolve as patient activity increases and they are able to resume normal sleeping positions, stretching, exercise…

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Compression vest for Gynecomastia

The vest should not be the cause of your back and neck pain. In fact, most patients say they feel better wearing the garment (as long as its not 100 degrees outside).  If you have had surgery recently, it could be a stiffenss that can be seen due to lying in one position for long periods of time. That resolves on its own.

Raj S. Ambay, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.